I am sorry to announce that I have made a decision to officially close Cypsis' Blog.

All the reviews stay up as they are, but I will not write more reviews. Cypsis' Blog had many ups-and-downs during those 7 years and I have tried to give the best I could, but unfortunately my life has moved on so much that finding time for reviewing has become more and more difficult. Closing the blog is breaking my heart, but I have thought a lot about it and understood that it is for the best. I am very thankful to everybody who have enjoyed reading my reviews.
(PS. I am still continuing to watch Asian dramas and you can always find me on

Thank you for all these 7 years. I hope that those 240 reviews made you happy. I truly had unforgettable time writing them!

Sincerely, Cypsis

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lunch queen (2002)

Country: Japan
Genre: food, romance, comedy
Format: drama, 12 episodes
Cast:Takeuchi Yuko, Eguchi Yosuke, Tsumabuki Satoshi, Yamashita Tomohisa, Yamada Takiyuki, Wakabayashi Go, Tsutsumi Shinichi, Ito Masaki, Takubo Issei, Eita, Morita Go, Umemiya Masako, Osugi Ren, Kiritani Kenta, Suzuki Emi,
Synopsis: Natsumi is a woman who finds comfort in lunch, that's why she is willing to do anything for the sake of great meal. One day a man named Nabeshima Kenichiro askes her to pretend to be his fiancee, in order to him to have a reason to go home. Kenichiro is the oldest son of "Kitchen Macaroni" owner, beside Father there are also 3 younger brothers - Yujiro, Junsaburo, Koshiro and live-in apprentice cook Minoru. Natsumi falls in love with restaurant's omurice and its famous demiglauce sauce and decides to stay there forever, even though "her fiance" Kenichiro has stolen family's money and ran away. But a woman living with 5 single healthy men does not bring anything but trouble..
Rating: 4/5
People who like food should always watch it with full stomach - too appetising.

Natsumi is cool, she does what she wants. Give her a food and she is okey with everything. Natsumi has a difficult past on her shoulders, which still haunts her time to time. Natsumi does speak about her past to others and tells failing lies, but in some way they all believe her. She tries to give her best and seeks for positive side of world. She teaches others that there must be some fun in life no matter how old you are and there must be passion for the things you love. She is someone who loosens the strings in the family. Takeuchi Yuko was great in this role. At moments she a little bit reminded Ueno Juri, next time Ueto Aya  - so her acting was a little jumpy.
Kenichiro is actually total side-character, but as he was the one who brought Natsumi to home then he deserves to be mentioned. He is silly, awkward and shy. Even though, he is the oldest, he has the least life-experience - he has failed in life more than once, but he always gets things other way, not really understanding the right reasons. He seems to be bastard for his actions to family, but deep in side he loves them and they love him - it is just complicated. Beside, there is the saying that the first one still goes behind the fence.
The second son Yujiro is much more grown-up than Ken-ni. He has given up on many things in his life in sake of the restaurant. He does not think much and makes his own rules which everyone must follow. But every man has his own love in this world too - so there is Hidemi, his painfully in bad marriage very beautiful friend. Yu-ni never says things what he thinks - he is having a difficult time acknowledging his true feelings so he hides them behind visible lies. He is helpless when he sees woman's tears and guess what.. he is the one (and may be only one) who sees Natsumi crying.
My friend told me that "Lunch queen" might get very cliched and boring, but I think that only cliched thing about it was the third son Junzaburo. He fell hopelessly in love with Natsumi since the first day. He is same old as Natsumi, but he looks much younger and childish. He is a big cry-baby, pathetic and in the end pessimistic. He does not think his actions and saying through, so he many times says meaningless cliche things and then he gets angry or aggrieved. At the same time, his useless trying is so funny that you cannot stop laughing.
The youngest son was Koshiro, acted by Yamashita Tomohisa. Being the youngest does not mean that he is mentally youngest. In many scenes he teaches Jun-ni and Yu-ni about women and how to deal with them. They even say it in drama that Koshiro is the most famous with women - and you can see it too as he never goes on a date with one girl.. there is always at least two girls. He is like family's love-doctor, while he himself takes baaaad advantage of it with teasing others - especially Jun-ni, who is really slow. But on the other side, Koshiro is the only one who does not help out in restaurant, which makes him useless in kitchen. After one serious turn-up in drama plot, he is having the hardest time to find himself. Others have their cooking, while he "must" get ready for university. By the way, he stays at school for the whole day, which makes his brothers worry, but he is a very fast learner. Everyone are afraid of that when Koshiro starts working at kitchen, he might become better than they are.
And then there is the wise father,the head-chef of "Kitchen Macaroni". I think he has the least screen time and text in all, but he has that amazing aura, which makes him respectful. He is ready to put down his job and give the restaurant to his sons. That makes him more think about his life and the past. He tries to spend father-son time with his sons, especially with Koshiro, because others got more his attention while being little. Koshiro was very little when Mom died and Father was always busy with restaurant. These scenes are very heartwarming, because you can see how much he cares for all his sons and "daughter-in-law" Natsumi.
From side-characters Minoru, the live-in cookboy, is almost great friend with Koshiro. I did not understand if he is the same old or not (seemed few years older, but dunno).  At restaurant and in the city he keeps low and silent profile, actually he was from the same neighbourhood as Natsumi, so he knows the truth about her. In Chiba, his hometown, he is known for his fighting skills and is honored by many smaller dudes. He is very funny character who has the most morality in the house. He also has a crush on Tomato.
Sadly, Tomato or Toma-chan as they call her, has had a huuuuuge crush on Junzaburo for ages. Toma-chan works at nearby vegetable/fruit shop, where "Kitchen Macaroni" buys their ingredients. There is also one character from Natsumi's past - Shuji. The bad boy who brought only bad to Natsumi, but you cannot choose who you love. He is not that big bastard as you might think, because even he has feelings and humane wishes. He is too aggressive, but I think he really loved Natsumi.
I think that is it about characters. It is funny and you do not know what happens next as the actions begins since the first episode and Natsumi never shows out her "love-interest". "Kitchen Macaroni" seems to be very cozy and comfortable place, but the drama also shows that lunch-time in Tokyo is one insane time.
One small thing more, It seemed like it is a reunion of "Long Love Letter, because at least 6 actors are the same - Yamashita Tomohisa, Yamada Takiyuki, Tsumabuki Satochi, Suzuki Emi, Takaki Maiko, Osugi Ren  to mention. Want the reason? Both dramas are mainly made by Omori Mika and Mizuta Narihide with only half year difference.
Nothing else to say than enjoy watching while eating!

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